Did you know?
Being an addict already carries a stigma.
Add being a woman to that and the effect is doubling. As a woman interested in or new to recovery, you may be wondering where your place in the recovery community lies. It is true: a number of issues unique to women are overlooked in 12-step fellowships; but that does not mean that you can’t have meaningful and real sobriety. Some women may have experienced a piece missing in their recovery, and as a result gone through relapse or dark times. The 12-steps direct participants to take accountability in situations that was by no means someone’s fault. To subscribe to the notion that one always has a responsible part in every event perpetuates rape culture. Additionally, when women first enter recovery it is essential that she deal with any trauma that may have occurred; and this is beyond the expertise of any 12-step sponsor; no matter how experienced. Women in recovery must take what works for them in the 12-step fellowship and leave the rest. The language in 12-step programs, specifically Alcoholics Anonymous is very much based on an archaic patriarchal society. These steps were written by men for other men in a time that women did not have the same civil rights as their male-counterpart. While these founding male members of Alcoholics Anonymous laid the foundation for countless other self-help groups including those for eating disorders, gambling, and drug addiction, keep in mind that the language and notions of the 12-steps are dated and, in the opinion of many women, sexist. Again, this does not mean that women cannot successfully apply and benefit from the 12-steps; countless have. It simply means that a women will want to take the Alcoholics Anonymous literature with a grain of salt, and make it comfortable and accessible for you. A Woman's Way Through the Twelve Steps by Stephanie S. Covington serves as a guide and makes the steps much more inclusive and accessible to women.
What We've Learned
The shame society has assigned to women with substance use disorder is enough to perpetuate one’s addiction endlessly. While men may still be criticized for using drugs and alcohol, it is more easily forgiven; that’s what a man does; he works hard all day or he’s just blowing off some steam. However, if a woman uses substances her ability to nurture and mother is immediately called into question. Taking the shaming a step further is the women who use substances including alcohol and nicotine while she is pregnant. Society is so quick to judge this women and demonize her rather than empathize and help her. Her fear of losing her child is so great that she will keep the using a secret rather than reach out for help. Many claim to be evolved and to subscribe to the disease model of addiction, yet when it comes to the woman that is pregnant and using substances, most are quick to judge and demoralize her. Never has shaming a person been shown to help an individual change, yet this approach is still taken with our most vulnerable members of our society. Shouldn’t these women be shown love and empathy if we, as a society, truly want to help her and her unborn child?
As women, we are seen as and often do take on the role as caregiver. But what happens when the caregiver can no longer take care of herself? That is why it is imperative for women to place their recovery needs first. This may be difficult for some of us to do; afterall, we have been placing everyone’s needs before our own for our entire lives. What we must realize and fully accept, is that if we do not put our own self-care and recovery first, even before our children, significant other, and career, then we are in great danger of losing these things that we cherish. And now we will be challenged more than ever. In the past a bottle of wine was the perfect remedy to the constant pressures and never-ending demands of motherhood. When we get sober, we no longer have that coping mechanism, as unhealthy as it may be. We need to find new, healthy coping tools. That looks different for every woman; we find what works for us. It may consist of 12-step fellowship (or not), other recovering women to be that support network, meditation, yoga, church, exercise, volunteerism, journaling, or therapy. Whatever it is, you must find the best fit for you and what makes you feel most empowered as a woman.
There is no one right way to address a loved one who may be suffering from addiction. Often the person suffering from the addiction is not only in denial but is unwilling to listen to their family or loved ones. In situations such as these it may be beneficial to seek the help of an addiction professional. Swift Recovery Solutions has certified interventionists that will to meet with you and your loved one. Your dedicated counselor will work with you to determine if the help of an interventionist may be needed.
Family Medical Leave Act
One of the hardest aspects of dealing with addiction is finding the time to not only identify the solution, but to get time off to handle it. Your dedicated counselor will not only help streamline the paperwork but work hand in hand with your HR department to get you the time you need to get better. The FMLA is protection offered to you that guarantees your job will be held for you while you are getting the necessary treatment. Working with HR, Swift recovery solutions will take the burden off you or your loved one, giving you the confidence to start down the path of better happier lifestyle.
Your Health Insurance
Our experts walk you through understanding the complexities of your health insurance, including:
- Deductible, Out of Pocket Costs, Medications, In network vs. out of network, policy limits and exclusions.
- The financial burden associated with going to treatment can be daunting. SRS has sponsors and scholarships available to assist in covering the individuals portion of treatment expense’s.